But how dare anyone suggest that: Happy Feet ripped off March of the Penguins: It ripped off Billy Elliot!


The blame game: MEL "Sugar Tits" GIBSON said alcohol helped bring on his anti-Semitic remarks, MARK FOLEY swore he had a liquor problem and was molested as a child, JOHN MARK KARRclaimed he had been boozed up and misled during his first TV interview, and the REVEREND TED HAGGARD admitted to "sexual immorality" and promptly began rehab. Yeah, right, uh-huh, but anyway, you're all sick fucks! Honorable mention: MICHAEL RICHARDS. But at least he was big enough to only blame himself (albeit while robotically repeating, "I'm not a racist!").

illustration: Johanna Goodman


More blame: After Foley said that stuff—you know, that he was drunk and molested by a priest—the priest in question came forward to announce that he'd been having a breakdown back then and was on mind-clouding tranquilizers! Yeah, right, uh-huh, but anyway, you're etc., etc.


The year-in-drag shoe trends:KEVIN AVIANCE was gay-bashed, but emerged to launch a fabulous line of high heels. Some time later, FLOTILLA DEBARGE got into a bar fight and viciously attacked someone with a high heel. What does this all mean? Damned if I know.


Worst press release of the year:"On October 21, pet stores are hosting events celebrating National Dine With Your Dog Day, highlighted by people and dogs eating dog food together. No, that's not a misprint. . . . The irresistible story idea for you? DICK VAN PATTEN is so proud of his dog food and of being named spokesperson for Dine With Your Dog Day that he's been eating it himself! Van Patten, recognizing the fun spirit of the holiday, quipped, 'I may eat nine bowls of dog food, because eight isn't enough'." Funny, I found that quite resistible.

And anyway, I can't top that shit, so I'm outta here. And while I'd love to give you that gift bag I promised, you'd only have to pay taxes on it, so let me not encumber you with all that. Besides, I'm off on my own African adventure. Yes, I'm jetting off to Zimbabwe to finalize some kind of lucrative transaction or other—that's right, I just got a very special e-mail asking me to help them out, I swear—and then, after I pick out a cute trendy baby or two, I'm dashing off to Amsterdam to scarf up the $28 million I've apparently won in some kind of crazy lottery! And that's not the end of it! When I get back, I'm all set to have a long, intimate phone conversation with "Rachel from Cardholder Services." Jealous, bitches?


musto@villagevoice.com

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